...Living on borrowed time?
First published January 2003        Comment on these items
Updated : Tuesday, 23 February, 2016 4:58 AM

The terrifying aspect of a giant tsunami approaching a coastal city...

Please note this page does not carry news items related to the current Japan disaster but is purely tsunami related.

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Politics Bugs Slow Tsunami Alarm System
The Sumatra Tsunami — could such a loss of life have been avoided?
The earthquake that shook the world on its axis
Links to Tsunami Aid agencies/projects

How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age... by Thom Hartmann
Tsunami Informational web site
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2000/mega_tsunami_transcript.shtml
Gamma Ray Bursts, Gravity Waves, and Earthquakes

Author preface
This page has been browsed by many thousands of visitors since the earthquake off the Sumatra coast and resulting tsunami on 26 December 2004. It is obvious from many of the comments that I have read that many would prefer to consign the doomsday-type scenario outlined below to scaremongering. That is perhaps understandable, but not very helpful. I am not a scientist but a journalist who over the years has researched many unnerving stories. The objective to publishing these possible scenarios is to draw attention to them and their very real possibility so that committed minds may be applied to the problems.
      Keith Harris

The entire east coast of the USA from Maine to Miami in addition to the South Americas rests on a potential timetable to destruction that could take place at any time with a future eruption of the remaining active volcano El Cumbre Vieja on Las Palmas in the Canary Isles.

This is a predicament that is constant, is very real, but is eclipsed by the realities of living in the present, as was surely the case in the Indian Ocean where a relatively small scale tsunami on 26 December 2004 wreaked monstrous catastrophe across the most densely island populated area of the world. The Malay Archipelago (the East Indies) consists of some 7,000 islands of the Philippines and more than 13,000 islands of Indonesia. A fool may believe nothing will ever happen to him or her and lose everything if it does. A wise person is prepared to consider all possibilities and if nothing untoward does happen nothing is lost except time and possibly expense spent in consideration of life saving probabilities.

The tsunami that struck was relatively small scale in that tsunamis have been know to reach over 100ft in height, and could in reality be much higher on impact with shore. The Indian Ocean tsunami has been estimated at averaging 30ft at its maximum peak contact with shore—horrific, but still on the medium scale of such events. Its effect was reduced by the fact that the upheaval occured on the ocean bed. In the case of Las Palmas, the effect would be similar to a large meteorite hurtling into the sea, forcing a much greater surge of water to follow.

A scientific computer simulation study indicates that landfall waves up to 400ft high could be generated by an asteroid strike into the Atlantic Ocean.

“Outside the Pacific, no tsunami warning systems or centres exist, although the tsunami hazard exists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, in the eastern Indian Ocean, and in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Black Seas.”
(source: http://www.oceansatlas.com/unatlas/issues/emergencies/tsunamis/tsunami.htm)

Scientists have learned that a single or future eruptions on Las Palmas will lead to the eventual and unavoidable collapse of the volcano into the ocean, although this scenario is immensely played down by those who simply do not wish to mentally face its realities. Up to half a trillion tons of rock will drop into the sea, sending a mega tsunami—a giant tidal wave—racing across the Atlantic Ocean towards the Americas at speeds of up to 720 kilometres an hour. It will take approximately eight hours to reach the United States. There will be little warning of the collapse of the volcano other than the eruption itself signifying its imminent possibility.

It is unclear if any early warning system is in operation for countries along the Atlantic coast. A few hours’ notice will not be sufficient to save material possessions, but will perhaps provide sufficient time for those on threatened coastal communities to perhaps escape to safer territory.

Scientists have estimated that the wave from the collapse of Las Palmas will be over 650 metres high (from root to peak) and its 'crest' will stretch from 30 to 40 kilometres from front to rear, or more. The huge wall of water can potentially annihilate every coastline city on the Eastern shores of the Americas and could cause similar destruction for up to 20 miles or more inland. The Bahamas will be devastated and Florida could be submerged. In turn a backlash from the wave would rebound and reach Europe and western Africa. Few coastal countries of the Atlantic would be spared, though some would fare much better than others. In the Pacific regions, the effects would be marginable.

It is not a matter of if but a matter of when. The volcano will eventually collapse during an eruption due to the presence of water trapped in permeable rock sandwiched between pillars of impermeable volcanic rock; pillars formed and left by the eruptions of the past. In a new eruption, as the erupting lava moves from the magma base to the surface, the trapped water will expand as it heats, causing huge pressures within the volcano. The water will literally lift the top of the ridge-shaped volcano from its base allowing it to slide into the ocean. What is not known is how many more eruptions are necessary to cause the eventual collapse.

The last eruption was in 1942. On average, the volcano has erupted every two centuries. Similar collapses of island volcanoes have been known about elsewhere and traces have been found of the destruction caused by the resulting massive tsunami. The collapse of a volcano on the Hawaiian chain sent a gigantic wave that crashed ashore on Australia and devastated many smaller islands on route.
          related: Article published by Insurance Day and related to threat
                       Volcano alert website

  Similar :
Catch the Wave: Asteroid-driven Tsunami in U.S. Eastern Seaboard's Future
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/tsunami_asteroid_030602.html
Clash of the Titans - iceberg on Antarctica collision course—NASA story

The Sumatra Tsunami — Could such loss of life have been avoided? ... read full article

 

 

seemingly unaware of the great danger beach users watch the killer wave approach
Seemingly unaware of the great danger and terrible risk it poses,
beach users stand and watch the killer wave approach.

 

The wobble effect
It is not just the threat from the Canary Isles. Antarctica poses a far more serious danger to the survival of life itself on earth. The earth's wobble on its axis is just over one degree at maximum. Despite that, the axis is stable at present, the wobble being insufficient to affect the stability of the spin of the earth.

Antarctica is offset. Imagine a large beach ball. Stick a thin rod through the middle of the ball and then align the ball at an angle to match the earth's tilt and stick a large piece of modeling clay on the base of the ball to represent Antarctica. Adding to the lump of clay or removing from it will eventually cause the axial spin of the ball to lose its stability before eventually settling down into a new axis.

Such a phenomenon on earth would have cataclysmic results with enormously destructive weather severity and global flooding as the gravitational centre of the earth is thrown off equilibrium. We were lucky it seems with the Sumatra tsunami—reports have shown that the earthquake that  caused the tsunami in fact shook the earth on a massive scale and caused a massive slip in the continental plates. In an instant cataclysm, buildings would be flung from the earth like confetti in the wind and much of the earth, if not its entirety, will be plunged into a new ice age.

Global climate change could trigger such a natural disaster as the levels of ice across the north and south Polar Regions change with increasing temperature fluctuations. The scale of such a disaster could extinguish the bulk of life on the planet as we know it. Little geophysical study of the potential hazards appear to have been widely published to date, other than the effect of the changing icecap on the Gulf Stream.
[related http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/984135.cms]

read similar       Comment on these items

How Global Warming May Cause the Next Ice Age... by Thom Hartmann
Tsunami Informational web site
(http://www.geophys.washington.edu/tsunami/intro.html)

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